Google Asked to Drop Ads of Online Betting Firms in Search, YouTube

Google has been asked by the government not to display surrogate ads of overseas betting companies, Mint newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing a person aware of the development in the ministry of information and broadcasting.

The letter sent last week to Alphabet’s Google India asked the company to immediately drop all advertising, direct or surrogate, from betting platforms like Fairplay, PariMatch, Betway in search results and YouTube, the report said.

India’s planned regulation of online gaming will apply to all real-money games after the prime minister’s office overruled a proposal to only regulate games of skill and leave out games of chance, Reuters reported on December 4, citing a government document and three sources.

“After our last advisory on 3 October, TV channels and OTT (over-the-top) players stopped showing surrogate ads of online betting firms, but it was brought to our notice that many such ads are running on YouTube and Google. We have asked Google to stop this immediately,” said a senior ministry official to Mint.

Google did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

India should create a regulatory body to classify online games as based on skill or chance, introduce rules to block prohibited formats and take a stricter stance on gambling websites, a government panel stated in a draft report seen by Reuters earlier in September.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that a panel of state finance ministers was yet to submit its report on taxation of the booming online gaming sector that is crucial to a final decision on how the levies should be imposed, citing a senior government official.

The panel has for weeks been deliberating how it should tax online gaming companies — and whether federal tax should be imposed on only the profits of firms or on the value of the entire pool of money collected from participants.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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